Review: If Forever Comes (#3, Regret) by A.L. Jackson

My Thoughts

Beautifully written, emotionally charged and unforgettable.
A story of surmounting what feels insurmountable, of finding hope amidst unbearable pain and knowing that in the end, a soul-deep kind of love will forever withstand the darkest of times. Indisputably one of my favorite all-time series.

5stars

Synopsis


If Forever Comes - NEWIf Forever Comes, the final chapter in the New York Times Bestselling series, Take This Regret.

Christian Davison’s life is complete. With a ring on Elizabeth’s finger and his daughter at his side, he’s ready to run headlong into their future.

Elizabeth Ayers never believed she would again find this kind of joy—the joy of a family and the wholeness found in the touch of the man she’s always loved.

Their love is intense and their passion only grows as they set out to rediscover each other.

But life is never easy.

Rocked by the unforeseen, Christian and Elizabeth will find themselves fighting for the one thing they hold most important—family.

My Review

Unbelievable. A.L. Jackson does it again. Her writing is like a long caress I feel to my very heart, her emotionally charged words moving and flowing on the page, indelibly marking me and enveloping me, holding me captive as the story unfurls. Christian and Elizabeth’s story is one that has been forever scarred by deep-rooted heartache, inescapable regrets and unspeakable tragedy. What they have endured in their lives would shatter anyone’s resolve to keep going, keep trying and keep searching for the happily ever after which seems to eternally elude them. But their love is rare and real… a love that runs so deep and burns so brightly that you feel it can never be extinguished… and yet, when I began the story I was absolutely shattered and stunned.

“Life had taken Elizabeth and me down a path neither of us knew how to navigate. One neither of us could bear.”

Christian and Elizabeth are no longer. They are overwhelming lost and crippled with unbearable pain and heartache. What had happened?! How could this be? Their future was full of hope at the end of Take This Regret and I was ready to relish in their happiness. Their relationship is broken. Christian is racked with pain without Elizabeth, unable to imagine a life where she is not his. Meanwhile, Elizabeth is numb. Unable to face her reality, her pain, she loses herself into the dark abyss of her unrelenting sadness. The pain they both feel is palpable.

“Ruined. Destroyed. Never had I believed anything could hurt this bad. Hopelessness came barreling into my consciousness where it firmly took root. I gasped for air. But there was nothing to be found.”

The story is told in alternating Christian/Elizabeth point-of-views, in both present tense and past flashbacks as we try to piece together what’s transpired. After having my heart immediately ripped into pieces at the story’s start, we return to the past, to a time where their future was once again hopeful and full of love.

“I love you, Christian. Always. There is nothing that could make me stop loving you. Nothing that could make me stop needing you. You are my start and you are my finish, the one who’s going to be there for everything in between.”

They seem impervious to unhappiness, resolute in their resolve to never allow anything come between them. I was delighted to see them so happy. They earned it. Deserved it. Needed it after so much hurt. Once again, I found myself wondering what could have befallen to fracture them so significantly. Their time together is beautiful, their love is so powerful, the rightness of their togetherness so indisputable. I love that with a simple look they can simultaneously disarm each other and express just how much they love the other.

“I found myself struggling to make sense of how much I loved this man. He was my everything, beauty and light, my rock, the other piece of my soul.”

When we return to the present tense, I began to harbor some anger towards Elizabeth. How could she have pushed Christian away? How could she no longer be affected be his touch? How could she hate him? I felt the heaviness of hopelessness along with the characters, desperately clinging to the promise of happily ever after.

“Maybe that was the problem between Christian and me. Maybe the connection that bound us was too overwhelming, too powerful, too much. Maybe a love that flamed so bright could only burn us into the ground. Maybe it was inevitable, our ruin. Maybe we’d already been set up for destruction, because something so strong made it inherently weak.”

Christian, on the other hand, decides that a life without each other is impossible and his determinations flares.

“I just wasn’t rational when it came to her. She was mine. She’d always been. And I was going to make sure she always was.”

I wanted to stand up and cheer and help him fight for what was his. But then… finally… as the truth was laid bare…I was shattered to pieces.

Shattered.

The truth so painful, so understandable, so unbearable and crushing. (How can one series pack this much pain and heartache?!)

This book is their story. Their journey to happily ever after. Their grasp at their forever. I was filled with emotion throughout the entire thing… feeling the oppressive sadness, the agonizing heartache, the uplifting happiness, the unquenchable fever of desire,  the anger at mistakes made and ultimately the completeness and rightness of a family that belonged together. It’s a beautifully written story that will forever be in my heart. The story of Christian and Elizabeth is one of my favorite all-time love stories because of how deeply they love each other. I loved every word of this book.

“That’s all I want, Christian. All I want is to forever be yours.”

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Reading Order and Purchase Links

Lost to You - NEW Take This Regret - NEW If Forever Comes - NEW

About The Author

IMG_0618TUA.L. Jackson is the New York Times bestselling author of Take This Regret and Lost to You, as well as other contemporary romance titles, including Pulled and When We Collide.

She first found a love for writing during her days as a young mother and college student.  She filled the journals she carried with short stories and poems used as an emotional outlet for the difficulties and joys she found in day-to-day life.

Years later, she shared a short story she’d been working on with her two closest friends and, with their encouragement, this story became her first full length novel. A.L. now spends her days writing in Southern Arizona where she lives with her husband and three children. Her favorite pastime is spending time with the ones she loves.

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